International students will be allowed to stay in the UK for two years after completing their graduation from a British university to find a job, under new proposals announced by the Home Office.
Currently, graduates with bachelors or master’s degrees are allowed to look for work for only four months.
From next year, all international graduates will qualify for a two-year period to work in the UK, increasing their chances of finding long-term employment after studying. However, the student must be studying at an institution with a track record in upholding immigration checks.
The new move reverses a decision made in 2012 by former home secretary Theresa May that forced overseas students to leave four months after finishing their degree.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the change would see students “unlock their potential” and find careers in the UK.
“There is no limit on the number of international students that can study in the UK,” said the Department for Education.
Last year, over 460,000 international students, not including those from within the EU, graduated from UK universities. The government aims to increase the number to 600,000 over the next 10 years.